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Hampshire Genealogical Society

Monumental Inscriptions

In every churchyard in the country lie, not only the remains of our ancestors, but inscriptions that provide volumes of detail about them and the social history of the time. Sadly, the combined ravages of time, weather, and poor maintenance have taken their toll so that many graveyards, and the headstones and memorials within them, have fallen into decay.

It was recognized by those in the genealogical world that headstones could provide a vital clue to establishing family relationships and continuity of settlement in a community. Therefore, during the 1940s to 1960s, the Society of Genealogists, part of this group of like-minded people, set out to collect monumental inscriptions from headstones.

When the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) was formed in 1974, they quickly encouraged their societies to continue the transcription of memorial or monumental inscriptions, with the aim of creating or contributing to a national database. Hence HGS, as members of the FFHS, took on the task in Hampshire.

Consequently we have records of tens of thousands of Monumental Inscriptions in our archives. Many are on CDs as PDFs and are being added to all the time. These inscriptions, transcribed from headstones and memorials in graveyards and cemeteries across Hampshire, are a unique resource for family history research. They are free to search at the Research Centre, if you visit in person, or are available to purchase from us.

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